A 14-man team comprising experts in different fields of health has been dispatched to Kano State by the federal government to complement efforts of the state’s government aimed at curbing the rampaging Coronavirus in the state.
On the same day, 238 new cases of Coronavirus were recorded in Nigeria, with Kano State alone accounting for 92 cases. The new figures take the total number of confirmed cases in Nigeria to 2170. 351 people have recovered, while 68 others have died from the disease.
The multi-sectorial team of 14 specialists, which will arrive Kano State this morning, is made up of persons from the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), National Primary Health Care Development Agency, the Department of Hospital Services, the Department of Family Health, Infectious Disease Specialists, media and a special adviser.
The Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, who disclosed this yesterday during a briefing by the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 in Abuja, said frontline health workers in Kano would be trained and retrained to effectively manage the pandemic.
Ehanire said: “With regards to Kano, the main focus of the intervention is on training and capacity building of state health care workforce along with their various specialties on a very massive scale.
“On case management, medical, nursing, and clinic staff shall be trained or retrained. The National Primary Health Care Development Agency will engage its extensive Kano State network to drive testing demand by grassroots through community mobilisation so that NCDC strategy can be realised.”
The minister also disclosed that government had now activated 18 laboratories nationwide, to increase testing capacity and improve case management.
The Minister of State for Health Olorummibe Mamora deplored complaints that some health workers were extorting money from patients under the guise of buying protective kits for treatment.
“Any demand from patients to pay money for protective kits by health workers in the hospitals is illegal, unacceptable and will be investigated,” he warned.
Responding to what may have been the recommendations of the interim report on the situation in Kano State, Mamora said it merely helped the ministry to establish the mode engagement with the state officials in dealing with challenges.
In addition, Mamora said the report led to the deployment of a multi-sectoral team to Kano State.
He said that the PTF would set up a base in Kano to coordinate further measures to find out the causes of the mysterious deaths in the state.
The Director General of the NCDC, Dr. Chikwe Ihekweazu said that efforts were being made to solve the challenges currently facing Kano and other areas where new cases of COVID-19 were reported.
On whether the NCDC would carry out sample collection at the markets, he said all their actions were evidence-driven, adding that if there were sufficient reasons to do that, then the centre would definitely go ahead and do it.
The NCDC boss said the centre tested 2,000 samples on Thursday, stating that it was the highest ever since the outbreak of COVID-19.
On bed space, he said that so far there were altogether 3,500 beds in all the states.
He said that none of the states has met the requirements for beds space for isolation centres, adding that private sector organisations are encouraged to assist the states where they operate with isolation facilities.